A Disaster in Haiti and How You Can Help

Posted by Cheryl Mills
January 13, 2010

More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquakeAbout the Author: Cheryl Mills serves as the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Earlier today, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti. Reports are still coming in, but it appears that many schools, hospitals and other buildings have collapsed, adding more suffering to an already impoverished nation, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Reports continue to pour in from all over and we are extending all our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected.

As Secretary Clinton said earlier, the U.S. government will offer assistance to Haiti and others in the region in the form of civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. You may email inquiries to: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov. We'll provide more details and opportunities to help as we learn more. To stay up-to-date, follow us on state.gov.

Update:Anyone wishing to donate or provide assistance in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, is asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information.You also can send your message to helphaiti@state.gov. Be certain to include in the subject line "Donation of" followed by the products you are willing to donate. A staffer will share the information with relief and development agencies that have the ability to transport collected items to the affected region and have identified needed goods.How To Help:Clinton Bush Haiti Fund | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red CrossRelated entry:Information on Earthquake in Haiti

Comments

Comments

Loren O.
|
Indiana, USA
January 14, 2010

Loren O. in Indiana writes:

I would like to request that the children in orphanages be remembered in these first critical days when food and water will save lives. And also ask the everything possible be done to expedite adoption so that people who are trying to adopt Haitian children can bring them to safety as soon as possible. Thank you. Loren O.

Jackie
|
Maryland, USA
January 14, 2010

Jackie in Maryland writes:

I would like to go to Haiti to help.I am currently unemployed.I am a former flight attendant. Have been trained by the Red Cross in Disaster. I speak some French. Have current passport. Was involved in the evacuation of the An Loc Orphange. Unable to find any sites that are requesting people to go to Haiti to help. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Karen J.
|
Utah, USA
January 14, 2010

Karen J. in Utah writes:

We brought home our 2 kids from Haiti on Christmas day, 2009. We barely missed this disaster. We have many friends who need to bring their kids home. They are worried-we all are. Please help our friends that have legalized adoption get their kids a visa. PLEASE! Help them come home!

Scott
|
Utah, USA
January 14, 2010

Scott in Utah writes:

My wife and I have been in the process of adopting two sisters from an orphanage in Haiti. We have waited over two years so far. Any available efforts to get them out of there would be great. I would travel today if I could bring them to safety. Is there any way to bypass the bureaucracy?

carlos r.
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

Carlos in Florida writes:

im a heavy equipment opereator im 37 years old ive been a operator for 17 years ive worked construction engineering and demolition.i have worked through alot of hurricanes including "katrina"i worked with the army core of engineers and i would like to travel to haiti and voulenteer to rescue and remove the fallen structures and to assist the people of haiti.MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL THE HAITI.

Jackie
|
Maryland, USA
January 14, 2010

Jackie in Maryland writes:

I would like to go to Haiti to help. I am a former flight attendant. Have had Red Cross training in disasters. Helped with the evacuation of the An Loc Orphange.I am currently unemployed. Can not find any websites that are looking for people to go there and help. Would like any info. thanks

Orion101
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Orion101 in California writes:

Credit Card Companies Take A Big Cut

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/14/as-wallets-open-for-haiti_n_423...

How about putting a little pressure on Credit Card and Mobile Phone Companies to WAIVE OR REDUCE their percentage cuts that add up to millions of dollars?

HOW ABOUT MORE TRANSPARENCY ABOUT THE CORPORATE CUT FROM THE TEXT / SMS DONATIONS VIA MOBILE PHONE COMPANIES?

Again, condolences and best wishes to all affected.

Dana
|
Minnesota, USA
January 14, 2010

Dana in Minnesota writes:

Dear Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,

I am writing to voice my concern for the orphans in the Haitian disaster. I fear they will be the last to receive aide, and they already have suffered so much.

We have three children in Haiti that we are in the process of adopting. We are desperate to bring them home...even more so knowing the even more difficult situation they face. We have filed and I-600 and have a I171H as well.

These children in the orphanages who have loving families waiting for them, belong in the safety of the people who have opened their hearts and homes to adopt them. Please keep the orphanages in mind, and I ask that you expedite the process needed to get the children safely home to America to be with their families. Help bring something good from this tragedy.

Thank you for your time and bless you for your efforts!

sandra m.
|
New York, USA
January 14, 2010

Sandra M. in New York writes:

I am interested in Going to help the victims of the earthquake. I work in the public health field and am currently working on my Masters In Public Health

James W.
|
Alabama, USA
January 14, 2010

James W. in Alabama writes:

Epidemics after Natural Disasters

Here is a short list of information that can be texted to relief workers and the general population in Haiti.

A constant vigil for the following diseases should be implemented immediately

----------------------------------------------

I. Water Born Disease:

a.) Salmonella enterica serotype Paratyphi A
(paratyphoid fever)

b.) Vibrio cholerae

c.) Escherichia coli

d.) Cryptosporidium parvum

e.) Hepatitis A and E

f.) Leptospirosis is an epidemic-prone zoonotic bacterial disease (Rodents shed large amounts of leptospires in their urine)

A case-control study performed as part of the outbreak investigation linked diarrheal illness with the consumption of meat and seafood after the onset of the power outage, when refrigeration facilities were widely
interrupted.

----------------------------------------------

II. Crowd Associated Disease:

a.) Measles

b.) Neisseria meningitidis meningitis

c.) Acute respiratory infections (ARI)

----------------------------------------------

III. Vectorborne Diseases [from mosquitos]:

a.) Malaria

b.) Dengue

----------------------------------------------

IV. Other Diseases Associated with Natural Disasters:

a.) Tetanus anaerobic tetanus bacillus Clostridium tetani

b.) Coccidiomycosis Coccidioides immitis

----------------------------------------------

The health effects associated with the sudden crowding of large numbers of survivors, often with inadequate access to safe water and sanitation facilities, will require planning for both therapeutic and preventive interventions, such as:

1. The rapid delivery of safe water;

2. The provision of rehydration materials;

3. Constantly sanitized water dystilation equipment;

4. Antimicrobial agents [hand sanitizers for families and children];

5. Measles vaccination materials and surgical masks [basically for children];

6. Appropriately constructed latrines that are constantly maintained and sanatized.

Relief workers need to be constantly aware of mosquito breeding potential and maintain a constant vigil for open containers that can retain water that are not in constant use. Electricity needs to be re-established to refrigerate vaccines and food for the population, and for water purification.

A quarantine of those who are already infected with diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other communicable diseases
should be implimented immediately.

This and any other knowledge that can be given to the population to educate the people should be distributed immediately.

Ruth H.
January 14, 2010

Ruth H. writes:

if the Red Cross, as stated is only offering 2 or 300,000 I'll send my $s elsewhere

John G.
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

John G. in Florida writes:

Citizens from all over the world, (liberals in particular), love to criticize America for anything and everything...You name it! Yet, who is it that speeds the most generous aid to countries when they are hammered by unspeakable tragedy? The good ol' USA! Whoever and wherever you are around the globe, it is America's Judeo-Christian heritage that defines this great nation at her generous and open-arms best.

A. G.
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

A.G. in Florida writes:

I would be delighted to devote my time to helping the Haitian people in crisis. I am a product of the hospitality industry of 25+ years and know how to assist, comfort, and communicate with people. Who should I contact? I am ready now to help.

Nancy Z.
|
Illinois, USA
January 14, 2010

Nancy Z. in Illinois writes:

My sister and her husband who live in Kansas have been trying to adopt two little girls from ophanages in Haiti. The adoption process has drug on for more than two years. The paperwork is finally in American hands awaiting approval. PLEASE PLEASE DO ANYTHING YOU CAN TO SPEED ALONG THIS PROCESS!! The orphans will be the last to receive help and aid. The paperwork has been in American hands for three months already. This very probably could make a LIFE or DEATH difference for these orphans on how soon they can be received into the loving families who are desparately awaiting word.
Sincerely,
Nancy Z.

Kevin
|
Texas, USA
January 15, 2010

Kevin in Texas writes:

I would like to go to Haiti and help dig people out of the collapsed buildings or anything. I'm fit and feel that I can contribute in some way. I'm a Respiratory Therapist, I'm sure that I can be of some help, anything, I would like to be in the trenches helping. Please send an email.

Richard C.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 14, 2010

Richard C. in New Jersey writes:

I worked in Haiti as civilian worker for the military back in 1995. It was wonderful experience for me as Mexican-American. I was employed for Camp Haitian, in Port-tu-prince.

The Haitian people were very respectful people, very kind people. I been across this country and I grew in poverty urban areas in the United States. But nobody has seen poverty until they go to Haiti! There are people there that have money! But poverty out does it. To have this disaster happen is sad! Know is the time to help and rebuild Haiti to the tropical beautiful city that it can be!

Frank v.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 15, 2010

Frank V. in New Jersey writes:

Im 24 yrs old born in Dominican Republic, Im work hard and I also attending college. Im offering my help as a volunteer to help the people from haiti, it hurts to see all this disaster and not be able to be there and help.

Shane
|
California, USA
January 15, 2010

Shane, Leanne, Ethan, and Victoria in California write:

We all sat down and composed this message.

We are so very sorry about this tragedy and are praying everynight for everyone that it effected. We are very proud of all the people that are coming together to help and risk there lives for others. It helps us as a family to have faith and confidence in humanity. God Bless you all.

Bill F.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 15, 2010

Bill F. in New Jersey writes:

I am a general contractor who is slow at the moment, I am a heavy equipment operator also, would there be the need for someone like myself in Haiti,if so, who might I contact?

rinchan
|
New York, USA
January 15, 2010

Rinchan in New York writes:

HI
my prayers are with the Haitian people.
i am a high school student from NYC. i would love to go to Haiti for a week and help the people there assist the red-cross or the UN . please give me this opportunity. i have been trying to find a resource through which i can go to haiti and help.
r.i.p to all the people who left such a beautiful country too soon.

yvonne p.
|
United Kingdom
January 14, 2010

Yvonne P. in the United Kingdom writes:

I want to help, what is the best way.

Christina K.
|
New Mexico, USA
January 14, 2010

Christina K. in New Mexico writes:

I am a former professional Fire Fighter and Katrina Evacuee/Disaster relief Coordinator. I want to helpwith relief & rescue in Haiti.

If anyone is organizing a trip, please let me know. We mus tkeep the people of Haiti in constant prayer.....CK

Marie D.
|
Haiti
January 15, 2010

Marie D. writes:

If anybody has any information regarding the above person.PLEASE CONTACT ME BY E-MAIL

Kevin
|
Florida, USA
January 15, 2010

Kevin in Florida writes:

I am looking for organizations to help me find my way to help in the relief over in haiti. I am eager and willing to help. Prior Us coast guardsman with many ablities. semper paratus. Someone please respond!

Amy C.
|
Canada
January 14, 2010

Amy C. in Canada writes:

I would like to go to the aid of the Haitian people, i am certified CPR level C, and have completed one year of paramedicine, i think i could be great help over there, my children are part Haitian and i think it would be a great example to show them how the world can come together to help eachother out in such a devistating time... Please get back to me asap, i want to go help these people and this country....

Thank you

Amy C.

Patrice B.
|
Louisiana, USA
January 14, 2010

Patrice B. in Louisiana writes:

My heart is broken thinking about the people of Haiti. I would like to know how I can get to Haiti to help. I am an attorney and therapist. I really want to help. Please advise.

J.R. V.
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

J.R. in California writes:

I am a retired LA County Paramedic & Peace Officer. I am willing to volunteer w/o pay.

Jeff
|
Wisconsin, USA
January 14, 2010

Jeff in Wisconsin writes:

I've looked at the http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/ site, and called the number to volunteer. They only want trained volunteers, and want you to fill out a lot of paperwork to even be considered.

I'm unemployed, about to lose my home, and meanwhile there are people who are dying and I know they can use some help. The bureaucracy is firmly entrenched, even in this dire emergency.

Bob N.
|
Nebraska, USA
January 14, 2010

Bob N. in Nebraska writes:

I understand that it's very early in the process after such a disaster. If you need the services of a commercial general contractor I'll help any way I can.

SS
January 14, 2010

SS writes:

I received a text back from 90999 stating "Premium Messaging to this mobile number has been blocked. Only the account owner may request a change to this setting with his/her wireless service provider." I'm guessing VZ blocked me from sending anything to that mobile #?

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